Solution Finder: Restaurant Point-of-Sale Systems

Katie Fleming

Katie Fleming

Co-founder and COO of Owner Actions

A guest and a server use a restaurant point-of-sale system

Virtually every restaurant needs a system to collect payments and track sales. Restaurant point-of-sale (POS) systems are robust tools and have a wide range of features that make them all the more worthwhile.

Some POS systems are digital (using an app and internet-enabled device), allowing you, your team, or your customers to input a payment method from anywhere in the world.

But, for restaurant owners, physical POS systems are much more common. Often, these tools have features such as a bar code scanner, a cash register to tally up transaction totals, a credit card reader, and a receipt printer.

In this article, we focus on the physical POS system you may need to process payments. You’ll find three standout solutions that may suit your business in the chart below.

Be sure to click the logos of each product for a brief explainer video on its functionalities.

 

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TouchBistro

$70 / month
  • Accept online and delivery orders without third-party fees (additional $50 per month)
  • Only system that works when the internet goes down
  • You will likely need to purchase additional add-on services
  • Reservation system available for $299/month
  • Works with third-party processors
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Play Video

Square for Restaurants

$60 / month
  • Free version available
  • Robust feature list, but this option requires third-party integrations to match Toast and TouchBistro offerings
  • Can take reservations using Square Appointments, but the reservations won't sync with your table map
  • All card payments are processed by Square
  • Payroll, loyalty programs, and marketing tools are available for additional fees

 

Let's explore each of these point-of-sale systems.

 

TouchBistro

TouchBistro is one of the fastest, most reliable, and simplest-to-use restaurant point-of-sale systems. It's enormously popular for sit-down restaurants, in part because of the breadth of features it offers.

Like all POS systems, TouchBistro allows you to tally bills and collect payment, but this specific tool takes on many more tasks. It's a true all-in-one that allows you to configure your floor plan, manage tables, update your menu, manage inventory, take on scheduling, run payroll, and even process orders right at your guests' tables.

All of these features are intuitive and easy to use, but TouchBistro also has an excellent support team in place that can help you implement the POS, configure it, and optimize it to improve your operations.

One of the best features is TouchBistro's reporting and analytics functionalities. You can lean on the more than 50 reports this tool can generate—which run the gamut from spending patterns and sales trends to key staff insights—to gain new insights and make decisions with impact. Plus, you don't have to run these reports on site. You can access them remotely, anywhere, anytime.

TouchBistro's pricing starts at around $70/month, but there are lots of add-ons you'll likely want to consider. These include reservation capabilities, gift card programs, online ordering functionalities, and much more.

Interested in a demo and custom pricing? Get started here.

 

Toast

More than 40,000 restaurants use Toast as their POS system. Toast is another all-in-one solution that synchronizes the flow of your entire restaurant, including front of the house, back of the house, and the back office.

Toast offers tons of great features. The software is simple, fast, and easy to set up and learn. Plus, it integrates with a wide range of systems you may already be using to run your business. The hardware is sleek, durable (and spill-proof), and it has lightning-fast processing speed.

Many owners love Toast for its tableside service features, which include payments, order-ready notification, and options for guest feedback. Chefs find that it's a great tool for managing their menu and reporting on item availability with item countdowns, too.

The reporting with this tool is robust and comprehensive. You can use it to run sales, labor, and product reports from any location and on any device to keep tabs on what's happening with your restaurant.

Toast offers a free, slimmed-down POS that's great for locations that can get by with one or two terminals, but many owners opt for the paid plans to access the full range of features. These restaurant point-of-sale plans start at around $165/month.

Would you like to learn more? Visit Toast and sign up for a demo.

 

Square

Square is a known name for a good reason.

This all-in-one restaurant point-of-sale system helps quick-service, full-service, fast-casual, and other kitchens stay on top of orders and handle payments with just a few simple taps.

Many chefs are big fans of Square's kitchen display system. It provides notifications, ticket times, and routing to stations to synchronize all of their efforts.

Square offers a free plan that's sufficient for many restaurants. This plan offers a POS and online ordering capabilities, plus unlimited POS devices that can work across multiple locations. Growing restaurants may need a paid solution to access more features, additional kitchen display systems, and round-the-clock support.

You can learn more by visiting Square’s site.

 

What's next?

Interested in other solutions for your restaurant? Check out our restaurant guide.

Then, log into your owner’s portal for more articles and advice tailored to your business’s needs.

Want to take on other tasks?

Come see the free step-by-step guide business owners love.

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